Butte County was incorporated on February 18, 1850, as one of California's original 27 counties. Our first Sheriff, J.Q. Wilbur, was elected in June of that year to bring law and order to the 12,800 square miles that comprised the county at the time.
The term of Sheriff was originally set by the Legislature at two years; in 1880, the term was increased to four years. After more than a decade of vacillating between two and four years, the length of term was permanently settled at four years in 1897.
The first Butte County Jail was in the county-seat town of Hamilton from 1850 to 1853; the second in Bidwell Bar, where voters had elected to move the county seat, from 1853 to 1856; and the third jail was in the basement of the courthouse when the county seat was permanently established in Oroville in 1856. By that time, the county had roughly assumed its current boundaries and size of 1676 square miles. But even as the county was shrinking in size, both the population and crime were rapidly increasing, and all three jails were commonly in use and at capacity.
In 1904, a new Sheriff's Office and Jail was completed at Huntoon and Robinson, 30 feet south of the Butte County Courthouse. A 'bridge of sighs,' which was a wire covered ramp, led from the second story of the jail directly into the upstairs courtroom, where a south window was made into a door. We moved to our current location on County Center Drive in 1965. The empty jail and original courthouse were so heavily damaged in the August 1975 earthquake that they had to be demolished.
The Sheriff's Office now has facilities at three locations on County Center Drive: Administration and the Jail at 33, the East Facility at 31, and the Day Reporting Center at 51.
Butte County Sheriffs
|Joseph Q. Wilbur||June 1850 to December 1851|
|Everett K. Dodge||January 1852 to December 1853|
|Peter Freer||January 1854 to December 1857|
|Nathaniel Dunbar Plum||January 1858 to December 1859|
|William O. Middleton||January 1860 to December 1863|
|Frank Warren Day||January 1864 to December 1867|
|Thomas Franklin Miller||January 1868 to December 1871|
|Samuel L. Daniels||January 1872 to December 1875|
|William Schneider||January 1876 to December 1877|
|Fred Adams Sprague||January 1878 to December 1882|
|Samuel McClellan||January 1883 to December 1886|
|John Miller Ball||January 1887 to December 1890|
|Robert Allen Anderson||January 1891 to December 1894|
|Sylvester "Dutch" Henderson Wilson||January 1895 to April 1904|
|James Marquis Chubbuck||April 1904 to December 1910|
|John Brooks Webber||January 1911 to December 1914|
|William Robert Riddle||January 1915 to December 1918|
|John Brooks Webber||January 1919 to December 1922|
|Robert Nelson Anderson||January 1923 to December 1926|
|Charles William "Bill" Toland||January 1927 to December 1934|
|Alvin Stanley Kister||January 1935 to September 1937|
|Robert Herbert "Herb" Taylor||September 1937 to December 1942|
|Walter Herbert "Herb" Forward||January 1943 to December 1950|
|George Lawrence "Larry" Gillick||January 1951 to December 1982|
|Hal T. Brooks||January 1983 to December 1986|
|Leroy Wood||January 1987 to December 1990|
|Mick Grey||January 1991 to December 1998|
|Scott A. MacKenzie||January 1999 to December 2002|
|Perry L. Reniff||January 2003 to December 2009|
|Jerry W Smith||January 2010 to May 2014|
|Kory L. Honea||May 2014 to Present|